We always could tell when Petey and me was due a whupping: that danged creak of Pappy’s rocker carried mighty far. Them last few steps from the porch took an awful long time.
We knew that we deserved it—just not for the reasons given. We weren’t stupid enough to fess up, of course. Nor complain, that’d just as likely increase the tally.
But, one time, small as he was, Petey offered up some sass and took a swing. I thought Pappy would rile up, but he smiled.
“Bout time you showed some backbone.”
Didn’t work none the next time though.